Agenda and minutes
Venue: Grey Room - York House. View directions
Contact: Wendy Binmore 01628 796251
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Cannon.
To receive any Declarations of Interest.
Councillor Rayner – Declared a Pecuniary Interest in the Heathrow Update agenda item and left the room during the discussion.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2019 be approved subject to the following amendment:
The second paragraph of the Homelessness and SWEP item should read:
“Helen Price stated she acknowledged the work of More than a Shelter that had helped get people off the street for 10 to 12 weeks. The Chairman said he would like to offer thanks on behalf of the borough to all the volunteers, police and officers for all their hard work and he was aware of Churches Together that had offered to shelter those in need. Susy shearer said she echoed the comments of Helen Price relating to More Than a Shelter who had been asked to provide accommodation for an additional two week period.
To note the Terms of Reference for the Windsor Town Forum
Councillor Knowles stated there was a change of boundaries and Members should represent their wards and be listed as Members of the Forum. He added there should be someone on the Forum that represents the Boltons area following the ward changes. It seemed unfair for that area to have no representation. There should be representatives from that ward to represent those residents. Claire Milne endorsed Councillor Knowles’ comments as a member of the residents association, she felt disenfranchised. Councillor Rayner responded that the political balance must be maintained and that Councillor Knowles could talk to his group leader to see if a solution could be found. Councillor Price stated the Windsor Town Forum and Maidenhead Town Forum existed as they covered unparished areas. The Chairman said he would raise the point with the Leader of the Council.
The Terms of Reference were agreed by the Members of the Windsor Town Forum.
For the Chairman to welcome the Forum and provide an update on the following:
· Homelessness and the impact of MEAM
· Update on the two Neighbourhood Plans
The Chairman welcomed all attendees to the Windsor Town Forum and congratulated new Councillors following the election.
The Chairman provided a brief verbal update on the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan had been submitted for consultation and he had been made aware of a few specific comments in response to that consultation. Following the appointment of an examiner, the comments would be forwarded to them and he hoped for an early referendum. Claire Milne stated that everything had been forwarded to the examiner. Agreement was needed with the Borough over who the examiner would be and the Neighbourhood Plan group were hoping for a referendum by the end of 2019; a date should be announced at the end of the consultation.
Paul Roach, Town Manager said the Windsor 2030 Neighbourhood Plan Group had been quiet of late due to different people being on leave. The key thing that the 2030 Group was looking at was reviewing all of the elements of the plan and the core points of the policy. A draft had been circulated and some work was required on some feedback received. The key areas looked at heritage and the economy and the Group would be in a place to announce dates for pre-submission 14.
Councillor Tisi said according to the previous meeting’s minutes, some workshops were going to be set up. The town Manager confirmed that he had been working with the Planning Team and still waiting on dates for those. Gary Williams commented that when consultations commenced, there had been a strong suggestion of residents input. The town Manager said he had not been aware that residents were barred from providing input. Whilst the focus was on businesses, anyone in the boundary could vote; he added there were residents on focus groups and they were welcome at all the forums.
Update from Thames Valley Police
To receive the above update.
Peter Bullet, Thames Valley Police (TVP) explained he was the area’s Community and engagement Officer and provided the Forum with the crime statistics for the Town Centre and the surrounding area:
· Theft from cars in West Windsor:
o January to March 2019 – 24 reported
o March to 17 July 2019 – 64 reported
· Theft from cars in the town Centre:
o January to March 2019 – 22 reported
o March to 17 July 2019 – 85 reported.
The big issues were in the Town and it was a spike in theft from cars the police saw every year; the police also emphasised that there was a spike in thefts from cars at the Legoland car park.. There was a huge influx of people from Easter into the area so it was not an easy issue to solved. In 2018, only 45 thefts from cars were reported but, the police felt that the figures were lower due to the royal Wedding which meant there was a higher police presence. To tackle the rise in thefts from cars, the police have been running a clear car campaign and have been carrying out car park sweeps across eight car parks in the borough. The campaign sees police officers look inside cars and see what is on show. Letters are then sent out to the owners of the vehicles to make them aware. The figures have not been confirmed yet but, so far well over 200 cars have been reported.
· Residential burglaries in West Windsor:
o From January to March 2019 – 26
o From March to 17 July 2019 – 37
· Residential burglaries in the Town Centre:
o From January to March 2019 – 6
o From March to 17 July 2019 – 14
Peter Bullet said the burglaries usually occurred due to people leaving their windows open. To tackle the issue of residential burglaries, the police were running their summer burglary campaign and were also offering free home security surveys to residents.
· Businesses burgled in West Windsor:
o From January to March 2019 – 2
o From March to 17 July 2019 – 8
· Businesses burgled in the Town Centre:
o From January to March 2019 – 6
o From March to 17 July 2019 – 10
The figures on burglaries from businesses were very similar to 2018.
· Cycle Theft in West Windsor:
o From January to March 2019 – 3
o From March to 17 July 2019 – 12
· Cycle Theft in the Town Centre:
o From January to March 2019 – 18
o From March to 17 July 2019 – 60
There were only 32 bike thefts in 2018. The Central Team have been running bike marking events at Windsor Boys’ School and work with the British Transport Police was also being done to combat thefts of bikes from train stations. Posters had also been displayed warning cyclists that thieves were operating. The police were trying to get information to people about locking bikes properly and using decent bike ... view the full minutes text for item 105.
Update on Parking Machines
To receive the above update.
Neil Walter, Parking Principal, explained all 118 machines had been installed by the end of March 2019 and were all fully operational. By the end of June 2019, £867,000 of transactions had been completed, and of those, 32% were using Advantage Cards. There were still some issues with Advantage Cards and they were either barcode issues or system errors. The Parking Principal had met with over 100 people to help with Advantage Card issues and some had needed to be replaced.
The machines experienced some down time on 18 July 2019 with the debit and credit card facility but, that was a nationwide issue and the third time the service had gone down in the last six months. The Council was due to put a capital bid in for the on-street parking to get the new machines as they all needed to be replaced.
The Parking Principal confirmed he had been working with the Audit Team to identify individual Advantage Cards being used several times in a very short space of time. Once the findings were known a report would go to the Corporate Leadership Team to produce some recommendations to prevent fraud and to recommend which course of action they want his team to take; it was very easy to turn off an Advantage Card.
The Parking Team had noticed there were workers and residents that were buying three parking pay and display tickets per day for £4 and the practice had risen 56% so that was being looked into. The Parking Principal added that in June 2019, three parking machines had attempted break ins but, as they were different machines to the previous ones, the thieves could not get the money out but, one machine was damaged beyond repair.
David Birch stated he had been to the library twice to get a paper barcode for the machines and he had rang the Town Hall to inform the Council his Advantage Card was not working; it worked in Victoria Street car park but, not at Datchet Train Station. He said there was often a queue of people who were unable to use their Advantage Cards so others whose cards worked were offering people to use theirs instead. It was a very frustrating system and a sign needed to be erected so that the instructions on how to use the machines were clear and easy to follow. The Parking Principal responded he was happy to test Mr Birch’s Advantage Card at the end of the meeting. He had asked the machine suppliers if the process of using Advantage Cards could be simplified but, the Borough was one of only two Council’s that used a discount scheme for residents. the Borough wanted to remove the need to press the yellow button twice. Residents should just be able to scan their card and it work straight away. He informed the Forum there was a very good video posted onto the Council’s website that gave clear instructions on how to use Advantage Cards ... view the full minutes text for item 106.
Night Time Economy Update
To receive an update on Windsor’s Night Time Economy – To include recent premises licence decisions.
The Community Protection Principal gave an update on homelessness and the MEAM Coordinator. He stated that since the last update the weather had got warmer with increased tourism and rough sleeping challenges. There were currently 18 known individuals rough sleeping with more coming to beg from Slough.
The Council had a policy of supporting individuals before enforcement action was taken and the Borough would do everything it could to wraparound support including drug and alcohol support and mental health support. A grant of more than £80,000 had been made available to appoint two outreach workers to signpost people and work with them in conjunction with multiple agencies such as Dash, Street Angels and the Safety Hub and they would always try and address underlying issues to help support those vulnerable people however, there were times when support was refused. The Council have also helped individuals with storing their personal belongings until they could collect them later. The Community Protection Principal said he encouraged businesses in the Town Centre to do their bit by liaising with the Town Manager on how they can help individuals sleeping rough.
Mr Kenyan asked why SWEP ended as it should be available 365 days a year. He added he understood the church was involved but now, the church had backed away. The Community Protection Principal stated SWEP was only used during extreme weather and he was unable to answer on behalf of the church but, they were still very much involved in supporting vulnerable individuals. Councillor Price stated the church was run by volunteers and funded by the church but, there was a limit to the amount of time and money that volunteers and the church could commit to so, the service was ran during the harshest weather and now arrangements were being worked on for the work to continue over the coming winter months.
A local resident stated he respected and appreciated all the work carried out by the Council to alleviate homelessness. However, he used a taxi to get home and the driver had said he had taken a job to get three homeless people back to their homes. It was very hard to distinguish between a genuine homeless person and those begging but who had homes. The Community Protection Principal said there was no simple answer to that and it was a moving picture. There were known individuals who travelled to Windsor to beg but there were also unknown individuals. Community Wardens were instructed to remove items from regular begging pitches if they had been left for a considerable amount of time overnight to discourage people begging. He added the Council would not give up on genuine homeless people but will continue to disrupt those who are not genuinely homeless.
Paul Roach, Town Manager confirmed he surveyed the bus stops along the High Street every day on his way to work and if people were camped there, he notified the outreach team. He had a lot of information on most ... view the full minutes text for item 107.
Town Manager Update
To receive an update from the Town Manager.
Paul Roach, Town Manager, informed the Forum that security training, previously called Project Griffin, was now called Act and the annual session had taken place in May 2019 which looked at terrorism and hostile reconnaissance. The training was ongoing and another session was planned for the end of the year.
The Windsor Horse Trail was due to end on 31 July 2019 but, it might possibly end sooner as there had been a request to present the horses at Royal Ascot in August. The Horse Trail went very well with over 600 maps issued and over 250 activations for each horse; over 4,000 people used the app.
On 4 June 2019 the Steam Dreams Train was launched and would continue to run every Tuesday for three times per day until September 2019.
On 9 June 2019, the US Bands Programme began and it finished on 14 July 2019. The programme saw 200 bands perform in churches and 200 bands perform on the grass moat. The programme consisted of 16 dates with 16 States and included bands and choirs. The event was very well received and dates had already been set for 2020. The Town Manager added that there had been requests from local groups to perform on the grass moat.
The Town Manager stated once the Horse Trail was removed, the Windsor Lions would be installed. There was a pop up shop where residents and visitors could go and see the lions being painted and the final locations for the lions to be placed had been agreed and would cover the both Windsor and Maidenhead, some of the horses would use the same locations as the Horse Trail with the exhibition running till October 2019.
The Windsor Defibrillator Project was started in 2017 and was set up following stories in the national press about sudden heart failure and the project wanted to address that. There were now up to 12 defibrillators across the Town with most of the funding for them from third parties and businesses. An app was available to locate the nearest defibrillator and anyone can suggest a new location where they feel a defibrillator could be useful.
Between May and September 2018, there had been a boost to footfall but, between September 2018 and June 2019, footfall had dropped by 33%. Car parking was down from April 2019 by 5% but, coach parking was up.
Shop unit vacancy rates were up 6% due to a number of high profile closures; Dorothy Perkins and Crabtree & Evelyn had closed and other businesses had chosen to go into voluntary receivership. The White Company would take the Dorothy Perkins Unit on and they were currently fitting out the unit. Windsor Yards were in talks with a high profile retailer so there would be two or three additions to the Windsor Yards area.
The Harte and Garter were handing over their restaurant to the Ivy in August 2019 and that would be open in time for Christmas 2019; and an application had ... view the full minutes text for item 108.
Heathrow Expansion Consultation
To receive an update on the latest Heathrow Expansion Consultation.
The Chairman stated Heathrow were running their fourth consultation of 2019 and he urged residents to go along to the Windsor Roadshow on 24 August at Alma Road to view it and provide feedback. There was also a Roadshow in Staines on the 16 August and in Ascot on the 21 August 2019. The Chairman explained the M25 would be bridged in three places instead of two and there had been no reference to Terminal 6 which had been delayed during construction.
The Chairman stated he was invited to various consultations and it was admitted in an email Heathrow proposed to proceed with alternating the runways so effectively, the Cranford Agreement was being abandoned which would result in waiting another four years or more till there was relief from the overhead aircraft in Windsor.
With regards to the traffic in Windsor, the A308 would get busier as people avoided the M4 and M25; there would be construction mayhem as the tunnel is built and the A4 would be moved too. Construction was likely to continue until 2040 or 2050. Eton was becoming increasingly aware of the noise as aircraft will be 200ft lower as the runway would be one mile nearer to Windsor. There was already a request for 25,000 aircraft movements now, Heathrow were not waiting for the extra runway to increase flights.
The Community Protection Principal said the consultation was running until 13 September 2019 and could be found at www.heathrowconsultation.com. Modelling had been done to show the increased congestion on the A308 but, Heathrow had not accounted for what those journeys would be for. Datchet and Horton would see a doubling of noise and that would be crippling with no precise mitigation identified. A paper had been presented at Full Council and was almost unanimously voted on to proceed with the three strands of work the Community Protect Principal had been working on. The CIL Manager added he had joined the borough from his role at Heathrow and so he had a good knowledge of the airport and all the issues. He would be entering into bilateral discussions looking at four key themes to secure the best possible deals for residents such as much more comprehensive compensation for affected residents plus investments in parks and open spaces, improved public transport and cycle routes with the Western Rail Link to Heathrow.
The CIL Manager was keen to ensure economic development programme around jobs and skills as the Borough was removed as one of the Boroughs included in the programmes. Heathrow were proposing an independent body to scrutinise air quality, traffic and noise so he was working with other local authorities to ensure Heathrow were meeting its obligations and targets. The CIL Manager stated the key points of response was to have much more stringent approach to pollution and the Council would make representations to make the tests more stringent to hole Heathrow to account.
Parish Councillor Beer stated the Development Consent Order Consultation was the only passage ... view the full minutes text for item 109.